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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ipswich Score Their First Goals Since January...and Beat QPR 2-1

Ipswich 2 QPR 1 - Ipswich slumping towards the bottom hadn't scored for six games - just under 10 hours of play (last scoring a goal in their FA Cup against Swansea and the end of january...Needless to say, they broke their duck with a first half goal against QPR. Then scored a second. Substitute Furlong came on and scored to make it 2-1 to Ipswich. Today's attendance: 21,000.

The big impact is it means Ipswich are out of the relegation fight. Elsewhere: Southend drew 2-2 vs Leicester; Leeds lost 2-3 at home to Sheff Wed (after being 0-3 down).Barnsley lost 1-3 at home to Norwich; Hull lost 0-2 at Ian Dowie's Coventry. Luton lost 2-3 at home to Wolves.

Barnsley 36 - 38
Luton 36 - 36
Hull 35 - 35
QPR 35 - 35
Southend 36 - 32
Leeds 36 - 31

League Table

ohn Gregory bemoaned the refereeing display of Mr Lewis after the 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Gregory cut a frustrated figure when speaking to www.qpr.co.uk moments after the full-time whistle: "I'm frustrated with my team and the referee.

"Jimmy Magilton and I were both tearing our hair out about some of his decisions.

"He was blowing the whistle far too often and when Furs is pulled back in the box as he's about to shoot in the last minute, he didn't give us anything.''

Despite his criticism of the referee, Gregory was far from happy with his teams' performance, adding: "The performance in the first half wasn't good enough. The lads have been heroic in the last two matches, but too many of them didn't show enough fight and determination today.

"The starting point is to play with desire and to wear your heart on your sleeve, but not enough of the lads did that today.

"Certain individuals did okay but we lacked the fight.

"Fortunately other results have gone our way today, but we can't keep relying on others.'' Official Site


If the season had begun 46 games ago, QPR would have been relegated: From their last 46 games QPR's record is: 9 Wins - 13 Draws - 24 Defeats: 40 points.

Starting Lineups
Ipswich Town: Price, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Legwinski, Peters, Lee, Walters, Wright, Harding, Roberts.
Subs: Supple, Richards, Haynes, O'Callaghan, Jeffers.

QPR: Camp, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth, Rowlands, Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Timoska, R Jones, Mancienne.
Subs: Cole, Moore, Kanyuka, Furlong, Smith.

Strikes from Alan Lee and Jon Walters ended Town's six match goal drought and gave Jim Magilton's side a first win in six League games.

Lee headed in on 26 minutes from Gary Roberts' cross with Walters adding a second after the break with his first goal for the Club.

Rangers got a lifeline with 20 minutes left, Paul Furlong scoring from close range but Blues held on for three vital points.

Walters partnered Lee in attack, Francis Jeffers starting on the bench after arriving on loan from Blackburn on Friday.

QPR started the better and had a flurry of chances in the opening minutes, Lee Cook's free-kick pushed away for a corner by Lewis Price, Gareth Ainsworth then appealing for a penalty after hooking the ball against David Wright.

Seconds later Ray Jones flashed a header just wide of the far post following a short corner as Town struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Owen Garvan wasted a free-kick on the edge of the Rangers' box after Lee had been fouled by Danny Cullip as Blues began to make in-roads into the opposition's half.

Roberts then fired over with a gilt-edged chance from 12 yards after exchanging passes with Roberts.

Jaime Peters had too much pace for Sampsa Timoska down the Town right and twice left his marker to cross, Damion Stewart in the right place to clear.

Peters then sent a left foot volley into the sidenetting while at the other end, Steve Lomas cut inside and sent a shot just wide of Price's goal.

Lee's surging run down the right set up a chance for Roberts, who sent the ball back into the area when a shot may have been on.

Alex Bruce thought he had scored on 25 minutes, his header set for the bottom corner until Lee Camp threw himself to his left to palm the ball away.

A minute later Town got the vital breakthrough, Lee's header from Roberts' cross giving Camp no chance.

The impressive Cook carried the main threat for Rangers and his trickery and pass set up a chance for Martin Rowlands but the striker couldn't beat Price with his left foot shot from close range.

Ainsworth had a shot blocked by Bruce inside the box while at the other end, Lee hooked the ball over after Walters had challenged with Stewart, the defender appearing to handle the ball at one stage.

Lee went close again after great work by Harding, the striker's shot brilliantly turned over by Camp as Town threatened a second before the break, Walters then testing the Rangers' 'keeper from 35 yards with a bullet strike.

Camp was again in action early in the second-half, punching away a Jason De Vos header, Walters then spinning and testing Camp from 30 yards with a volley.

The 'keeper was beaten on 54 minutes though, Walters getting on the scoresheet that his play deserved after taking a pass from Roberts and easing the ball through the 'keeper's legs.

John Gregory made his first change just past the hour, Paul Furling replacing Ainsworth, the veteran striker joining Jones in attack.

Walters was a willing runner for the Town midfield, taking a pass from the impressive Garvan and testing Camp with a vicious shot beaten out by the 'keeper.

Rangers forced their way back in the game though on 70 minutes, Rowlands' shot from the angle of the area cannoning back off the inside of the post and Furlong pouncing on the rebound.

Jeffers replaced Walters soon after, the debutant receiving a warm welcome from the Town faithful, who also showed their appreciation for Walters' efforts.

Chelsea loanee Jimmy Smith entered the fray for the last 10 minutes, replacing Lomas as QPR adopted a three man attack, Danny Haynes coming on for Peters.

Haynes was immediately into the action setting up fellow substitute Jeffers with a short pass, the former Arsenal striker denied by Camp's outstretched hand.

Jones picked up the first booking of the game in the final minute for a late tackle on Harding, the Town full-back then going into referee Rob Lewis' notebook for a foul on Rowlands.

Four minutes of added on time saw Furlong dragging a shot wide from eight yards, while Camp held firm under Lee's cross before referee Lewis' final blast on the whistle.
Town: Price, Wright, De Vos, Bruce, Harding, Peters(Haynes 83), Garvan, Legwinski, Roberts, Lee, Walters (Jeffers 71). Subs not used: Supple, Richards, O'Callaghan. Booked: Harding. Ipswich Official

After going nine hours and 52 minutes without scoring, Ipswich saved two for the visit of Rangers to Portman Road.

Goals in each half from Alan Lee and Jon Walters put the Tractor Boys in the driving seat and despite Paul Furlong giving Rangers hope with 20 minutes to play, the hosts held on to seal maximum points.

The defeat stretched Rangers winless streak on the road to eight matches [sic]- in a run dating back to mid-November, when the R's beat the then league leaders Cardiff City at Ninian Park.

Rangers trailed at the break, despite shading proceedings in an entertaining first half.

Martin Rowlands and Lee Cook both forced Lewis Price in to smart saves in a one-sided opening, before Lee's 25th minute header - from a Gary Roberts cross - gave Ipswich the lead against the run of play.

Rangers continued to create chances after going behind, with Rowlands forcing Price to smother the ball at his near post, as the R's went in search of the all-important equaliser.

Walters made it two with a tidy finish from Roberts' net through ball, before Furlong came off the bench to give Rangers hope with 20 minutes on the clock, firing home from close range.

The all-important equaliser proved elusive for the R's though, leaving them with it all to do in the scrap for survival at the foot of the Championship.

John Gregory made one enforced change from the side that drew 1-1 with Plymouth Argyle seven days earlier.

With Dexter Blackstock serving a one-match suspension, England Under-19 international Ray Jones led the line.

Town's recent loan signing Francis Jeffers was named on the hosts substitutes bench.

The R's were on the front foot from the first whistle.

After Gareth Ainsworth won a free-kick on the right flank, Cook's audacious first minute effort from a seemingly impossible angle was nudged round the post by Price at the second attempt.

The resultant corner kick from Cook was flighted to the back post, where Ainsworth returned the ball with interest. The ball appeared to hit a hand on its way back in to the box, yet despite vocal appeals from the visitors and the travelling R's faithful, referee Mr Lewis waved away the appeals.

Rangers forced yet another corner kick - their third of the contest - a minute later and this time it was Jones who met Cook's delivery, glancing his header a yard or so wide.

Ipswich crafted their first opportunity of the contest on nine minutes.

Decent interplay between Lee and Roberts saw the latter coast through unchallenged to the edge of the box. Fortunately for the R's, Roberts' effort with the outside of his left boot flew high and wide of the target.

The R's created another chance on 12 minutes, with Cook seeing his left footed pile-driver deflected to safety, following a free-flowing Rangers counter-attack.

Cook was leading the Tractor Boys a merry dance and when he linked up efficiently with the impressive Jones on 14 minutes, Price was forced to smother the ball at his feet.

Town's most impressive performer, Jaime Peters, fired into the side netting after cutting in from the right flank 60 seconds later, before Rowlands curled a ferocious left footed effort wide of Price's right hand post.

Despite orchestrating proceedings the opening quarter of the match, the R's were grateful to Lee Camp for keeping them on terms on 23 minutes, with the Rangers keeper diving full stretch to his left to keep out Jon Walters' header.

The visitors didn't heed the warning though and when Roberts' cross was met by a superb downward header from Lee two minutes later, Camp was powerless to prevent his carbon-copy effort from nestling in the back of the net.

Undeterred, Gregory's men were back on the front foot almost immediately, with Rowlands forcing Price to save at his near post, after an excellent first touch from Cook's cross allowed the attacker to coast through to the edge of the six-yard box.

The Tractor Boys should've been two goals to the good seven minutes before the break, only for Damion Stewart to rescue the R's when he deflected Lee's snap-shot over the bar.

After Camp made two fine saves in as many minutes to deny Lee at the start of the second half, there was nothing the keeper could do to prevent his strike partner from making it two on 54 minutes.

Roberts again played provider, playing an enticing through ball between Michael Mancienne and Danny Cullip, which Walters pounced on and diverted underneath Camp from eight-yards.

With chants of "3-4-3, with one up front'' ringing in his ears from the R's fans, Gregory introduced Furlong at the expense of Ainsworth just after the hour.

It was Ipswich who continued to threaten though, with Camp fisting Roberts' thunderous drive to safety on 69 minutes.

A minute later, the R's were handed a lifeline when Furlong arrived bang on cue to poach home his first goal of the season.

Rowlands' initial right foot effort cannoned off the face of the post and the 38 year-old front-man reacted quickest to the loose ball before firing home from inside the six-yard box.

The end-to-end nature of the contest continued seconds later, with Owen Garvan forcing Camp into another super stop after his 30-yard thunderbolt moved one way and then the other on its way to goal.

Buoyed by his goal, Furlong tried his luck with a speculative volley on 79 minutes, only to drag his effort wide of the right hand post from fully 22-yards.

The outstanding Camp denied Jeffers a debut goal to remember when he tipped the Blackburn loanee's effort wide on 87 minutes, as Rangers - despite four minutes of added time - finished on the back foot.

Ipswich Town: Price, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Legwinski, Peters (Haynes 84), Lee, Walters (Jeffers 71), Wright, Harding, Roberts.

Subs: Supple, Richards, O'Callaghan.

Goals: Lee 25, Walters 53

Bookings: Harding 90

QPR: Camp, Cullip, Bolder, Ainsworth (Furlong 63), Rowlands, Lomas (Smith 82), Cook, Stewart, Timoska, R Jones, Mancienne.

Subs: Cole, Moore, Kanyuka.

Goals: Furlong 70

Bookings: Ainsworth 23, Jones 89

Referee: Mr R L Lewis

Attendance: QPR

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